How To Plan Family Reunions

Photo of family reunion

  1. Decide what kind of family reunion you would like to have. Will it be a long event or will it be a short event that takes place in one afternoon? Short reunions work for some families. Those who want longer reunions can plan a weekend camping trip or even a week-long holiday at the beach or other destination.

    When planning your reunion, you should keep in mind the financial abilities of your extended family. You should try to plan something that everyone can participate in.

    Be mindful of the elderly and/or family members who may be ill. It is better to plan the location of your reunion so that it will accommodate these individuals.  Also, if your family reunion is to be held outdoors, you should have a backup plan where everyone can go if the weather does not cooperate with you.

  2. Call your family members and drum up interest in the event. Be prepared for some family members to show a little hesitation. However, do not let this discourage you. The individuals who seem the least interested in a family reunion are usually the ones who have a greater distance to travel or who have very young children. They will come around with time and get into the festive spirit.
  3. Start compiling possible dates for the reunion. Be mindful that holidays, weekends and the summer work best for people with school age children.
  4. Contact your family again. Give them a choice of the dates you have compiled to see which ones work for the majority. Once the date has been pinned down by the majority, give everyone plenty of notice of when and where the event will be held. This can be scheduled months in advance.
  5. Decide how food will be handled. You can have the event catered and ask for everyone to pitch in on the costs, or you can simply ask everyone to bring a dish. How extensive the food details will be depends upon the length of your reunion.
  6. Send out a reminder for the reunion one month prior to the event. At this time, ask your family members to send copies of their favorite family photos. You can use these to create a slide show on CD or DVD at a later date.
  7. Stay in touch with family members who are traveling a great distance. Make sure they have a place to stay upon arrival. You should be especially helpful to families who have small children. Try to locate cribs, playpens, swings or other large items they may need.
  8. Be especially mindful of the children who are at the family reunion. While the adults will probably know each other, the children may not. Have something for the children to do that will encourage them to interact with each other and will also keep them busy. This could be a scavenger hunt, sack races, volleyball, card or board games, etc.
  9. At the reunion, take pictures of everyone. This can be added to the picture slide show which you will mail out to each family in the future.
  10. Think about the next reunion.  Once your family reunion is over you should have an idea of what worked and what did not. This information will aid you when you plan your next family reunion.


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